ALDI

Construction crew members brave the chilly October temperatures as they work on the building that will become ALDI grocery store at 1300 U.S. 127 South on the former site of Kmart. Harbor Freight, a tool retailer, and a new Big Lots are also being built to suit. (Chanda Veno | State Journal)

Editor's note: This story was updated at 9:55 a.m. Oct. 17 to correct the name of Kentucky Capital Development Corp. Director Terri Bradshaw.

Construction is continuing on three commercial spaces where the demolished Kmart once stood at 1300 U.S. 127 South.

ALDI, a grocery store, Harbor Freight, a discount tool and equipment retailer, and a new Big Lots store are being built to suit at the location by Michigan-based real estate company Agree Realty Corp., which also constructed the Frankfort Chick-Fil-A.

According to the company’s latest quarterly earnings report, the rebuild is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020 with Harbor Freight and Big Lots slated to start 10-year lease agreements in the first three months of the new year. ALDI will start its decade-long lease between April and June, Agree Realty Corp.’s website states.

ALDI did not respond to a reporter's request for comment regarding the store's opening date.

Kentucky Capital Development Corp. Director Terri Bradshaw and Frankfort Planning and Community Development Director Eric Cockley couldn't provide a specific opening date for the grocery store.

“I would guess January or February, but I don’t know what their target date is,” Cockley told The State Journal, adding that he didn’t have a good contact for ALDI to ask.

According to its website, ALDI operates grocery stores in 66% of the U.S., including two stores in Lexington and five in the Louisville area. The company has more than 1,900 stores in 36 states and plans to have nearly 2,500 stores open from coast to coast by 2022.

For those who have never shopped at ALDI, there are two distinctions between it and other national chain grocers.

In order to use a shopping cart, customers are required to pay a quarter to the cart rental system. The quarter is returned when the cart is and the company claims it is a simple, innovative way to prevent “stray carts taking up space in the parking lot or causing dents to cars.”

Unlike traditional grocers, ALDI does not give one-use plastic shopping bags to tote purchases. The company encourages customers to bring their own bags or buy a store reusable bag.

“ALDI has never offered single-use plastic shopping bags,” CEO of ALDI U.S. Jason Hart said.

The company, which has operated in the U.S. for more than four decades, estimates that this business decision has kept 15 billion single-use plastic grocery shopping bags out of landfills and oceans.

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